2009 Week 15 Jets vs Atlanta Photos
The Jets' tough 10-7 loss to the Falcons on Sunday did not provide much for the highlight reels, except for a 65-yard touchdown reception by WR Braylon Edwards in the first quarter.
In an attempt to set the tone early, Edwards beat Atlanta cornerback Christopher Owens on a post route to catch a Mark Sanchez pass in stride and took it to the end zone to put the Jets up, 7-3.
"I thought that gave us a lot of momentum on offense," said Sanchez on the Green & White's longest pass play of the season. "Braylon made a great catch. It was the highlight of the game for sure."
Edwards' next catch was an 8-yarder on third-and-6 to put the Jets at the Atlanta 10. With first-and-goal, adding to the scoring column appeared inevitable. Unfortunately for the Jets, on fourth down Kellen Clemens fumbled James Dearth's snap, Jay Feely never got a chance to kick, and the Jets turned over on downs.
"Points are points and we got in the red zone but you have to finish off those drives," said Jerricho Cotchery, who had six receptions for 49 yards. "You have to score a touchdown."
On the Falcons' ensuing drive, the Jets defense was able to force a punt, leaving the offense with 3:18 in the half to add to their lead. The receivers stepped up and did their part making clutch grabs.
Cotchery made a 4-yard completion on the second play of the drive to keep the chains moving. WR Brad Smith pulled in a 17-yarder with one hand to get the ball close to midfield. Then Cotchery caught a 7-yarder to get the ball into Falcons territory with 1:27 left.
On first-and-10 from the Atlanta 40, WR Danny Woodhead made his first catch of the game, a 13-yarder on a shovel pass from Sanchez. After another 4-yard catch by J-Co and a 10-yarder by TE Dustin Keller, the Green & White were in position for at least three points. But Feely missed a 38-yard field goal in the swirling Meadowlands winds.
"You can't get down to the red zone and not come away with any points," said J-Co. "That's a recipe for disaster."
Although the weather wasn't nearly as catastrophic as forecast, the Jets' missed opportunities led to a tragic end against their interconference foes.
But it wasn't all bad from an offensive standpoint. The passing game showed up in flashes. Five Jets receivers caught balls from Sanchez, who went 18-for-32 for 226 yards, a TD and three INTs.
"The entire game, our offense drove the ball down the field pretty good but we didn't convert and get touchdowns," Keller said. "We should have converted on those third downs and got it in the end zone, but we didn't and we were stuck in that situation."
New York's AFC representative went just 5-for-13 on third down and were 0-for-3 in the red zone, but because of their tough play on defense, their slim lead held up until the Falcons' final drive.
"I felt like despite everything that happened today, we were going to be able to pull it out," said Cotchery. "We had full confidence in our defense on that last drive. It all boils down to not allowing your defense on the field the entire game. It's just going to wear down at some point. That's what happened today."
Braylon Edwards had his biggest game of the year, catching five passes for 105 yards and the first-quarter TD, his fourth of the season.
Cotchery's five receptions gave him 308 career catches, placing him 10th in franchise history. On the day, the sixth-year wideout passed FB Richie Anderson (305 receptions) and WRs Keyshawn Johnson (305) and Rob Moore (306) on the Jets all-time list.
But after a day like Sunday, all Cotchery wanted to do was look towards a brighter future.
"We had a prime opportunity today. We didn't get it done," he said. "It's happened a lot this season and we can't point the finger at one guy. As a group we have to figure out how we can do better. We just have to finish games. That's the bottom line.
"If we want to talk about winning Super Bowls and all these things we have to get better moving forward."